Introduction

Not too long ago I made a table and chair for my kids to use as a place to do arts and crafts as well as a place for my oldest son to do homework. Since then we’ve had another boy start school and soon we’ll have all three in school, so I figured I better make the other two chairs and a bookshelf to match (request from my wife). Let me touch on the original table and chair for a minute. The idea was to have a table and chair with built-in storage and organization. In the design I think I accomplished both storage and organization, which has proven to be very useful so far. So, we wanted to continue the organization trend as the “learning center” evolved.

DIY Desk and Organization

The Table

When designing the table I knew I wanted built-in storage and organization, which included a shop made sliding track under the table top from plywood. I basically cut a couple of strips of plywood to length the width of the table and a couple inches wide with a rabbet the length of each strip. The rabbet faced up towards the bottom of the table top and towards each other (see image below). I did some research to find a good organization bin solution to fit under the table and made the table wide enough to hold two of these bins. My thinking with this was to provide a solution for the kids sitting at the table to have maximum table top space and not have any clutter. The sliding bins allowed the kids to reach under and slide out the bin grab a marker or crayon and slide it back. My kids have used this system now for about a year and without any complaints. The end of the table has a couple of fairly good sized shelves for holding big note books, construction paper and any type of organization bins.

Table Accessory Track Table Shelves

The Chair

As for the chairs, I designed them to have a few different storage areas. There are a couple of storage pockets under the seat. One in the front that is smaller and one on the back that is a little bit larger, both under the seat. There’s also a storage area on the back of the seat, which is probably the most used and it’s capable of holding an iPad or tablet. If you place the table and chairs close to a wall outlet the chair back storage pocket makes an excellent charging dock for electronics. My kids range from 3 to 7 and all three fit in the chair very well with no issues.

Kids chair

Boys sitting at the desk

The Bookshelf

Now, getting to the bookshelf… So, recently we purchased a set of educational books for the kids and my wife wanted a place to store them other than the boys’ bedroom. Everything in their room seems to end up destroyed, life with boys I assume. Since we already had the desk and chair in place I thought I could make a bookshelf to match. As I mentioned earlier, we were using some organizational bins in the table, so I figured I would use the same ones in the bookshelf. So far I knew I needed a shelf for the books and I wanted a couple of shelves for the bins. I didn’t want the bookshelf too high, because I wanted to be able to use the top as a shelf and I also wanted the kids to be able to reach everything in the bookshelf, so this left me a good sized area at the bottom for book bags and such. I can always add in a shelf or two if needed. In the build video I mentioned a notch out on the back and near the bottom so the bookshelf would sit against the wall and around the baseboard. This allowed me to leave the back open and let the wall serve as the back once it was secured in place. I planned early on in the project by building the bookshelf to fit in between a window and a corner, which meant I knew I would have studs to secure it to. Also in the video I mention that the entire bookshelf is held together with screws using pocket holes. I decided to use pocket holes for two reasons, number one is that plywood is easily assembled with pocket holes and it’s a fast. Number two is so that I could attach it to the wall and hide all the screws. It worked out and in my opinion it was the best option for this project. To finish it off, I sanded the entire shelf before installing it and applied a couple coats of water based Polycrylic. You can watch the build video of the bookshelf and the two chairs here.

Organization Bookshelf

Materials Used

For this project (bookshelf and two chairs) including the table and chair previously made, I used PureBond Plywood. PureBond is my go to plywood for several reasons. First of all, I love the ply look of all the different hardwoods stacked together. It really looks good when you apply a finish to it. In addition to that, It’s made in North America and it’s formaldehyde free, which means it’s eco friendly. It’s available exclusively at Home Depot, in which you can have PureBond project panels shipped directly to your door. You check them out here: http://purebondplywood.com/

purebond logo

Book shelf

Organization

This corner that I’m calling the learning center has come together nicely. It’s so nice having a place dedicated for the kids to do school work, projects, read a book, and really anything that requires them to sit and concentrate on something. It also gives them a place to play games and such in their free time while indoors. Going back to the organization that is built into the furniture, the kids learn to place items back in their “home” and it also saves them from having to look for whatever it is they need on the next project or task. This is key and important in my opinion because it teaches the kid organizational skills that will help them in the future. Not only for the kid, but being organized is such a necessity for me to stay sane.

Organization Bins

Project Plans

Below you will find links to the plans for each piece of furniture mentioned in this article and the tools used to build them. I will also include a special coupon code exclusive to the readers of this blog article for a 25% discount on the table and chair plans including the bundles. Coupon Code: backtoschool

Table/Desk plan: http://www.stoneandsons.net/shop/kids-activity-table-storage-plan/

Chair plan: http://www.stoneandsons.net/shop/kids-activity-chair-storage-plan/

Table and Chair bundled plan: http://www.stoneandsons.net/shop/kids-activity-table-chair-plans-bundle/

Bookshelf plan (free): http://www.stoneandsons.net/shop/organization-bookshelf-plan/

See all the plans we offer: http://www.stoneandsons.net/plans/

Tools Used In This Project

(*the projects mentioned in this article can be built with limited tools)

Power Tools:

• Circular saw: http://amzn.to/2nj39MQ

• Bandsaw, Grizzly: http://amzn.to/2q3Lqcs

• Bandsaw riser block: http://amzn.to/2snwHhV

Table Saw and Accessories:

• Table saw (upgraded version), Delta: http://amzn.to/2nASQps

• 10″ saw blade, Diablo: http://amzn.to/2smRZfA

Sanders and Accessories:

• Random orbital, Skil: http://amzn.to/2ts2o9C

Drilling and Accessories:

• Drill and impact 20v, Porter Cable: http://amzn.to/2txekak

• Pocket hole jig, Kreg K4: http://amzn.to/2t8fNRJ

• Pocket hole machine, Kreg Foreman: http://amzn.to/2fAyjPO

• Drill and drive bit set, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2stIbf6

• Drill bit set 21 piece, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2urlY2G

Dust Collection and Accessories:

• Dust collector 2hp, Central Machinery: http://amzn.to/2spq9Q1

• 4″ dust separator kit: http://amzn.to/2t8kf2M

• 4″ dust port adapter: http://amzn.to/2sYTKhI

• 4″ self cleaning blast gate: http://amzn.to/2sorgPM

• 4″ Y fitting: http://amzn.to/2t8z0T9

• 4″ to 2.25″ reducer (for shopvac): http://amzn.to/2txtX1K

• 4″ 3-way junction dust fitting: http://amzn.to/2s99gEP

• Table saw dust hood, 4″: http://amzn.to/2ts5vOS

• 5″ to 4″ reducer, Delta: http://amzn.to/2txuBwc

• Dust hose clear, 4″ x 50′: http://amzn.to/2stMbwa

• Foil tape: http://amzn.to/2u6sYCD

• Hose clamp, 4″: http://amzn.to/2sur5NU

• Shop Vac, 12 gal: http://amzn.to/2ts4ENX

Gluing, Finishing and Accessories:

• Glue applicator set: http://amzn.to/2stQlUw

• Glue applicator silicone set: http://amzn.to/2s9b7cX

• Glu-bot: http://amzn.to/2s9rpm8

• Wood glue, Titebond III: http://amzn.to/2u6CEgo

Clamping and Accessories:

• 6″ F style clamp, Bessey: http://amzn.to/2ts94Vd

• Dovetail style clamp, MicroJig: http://amzn.to/2su92HM

Jig Accessories and Fixtures:

• Saw horses: http://amzn.to/2q6Qjo9

Measuring, Marking and Layout:

• Lefty/Righty 16′ tape measure, FastCap: http://amzn.to/2urCXSy

• Nylon 16′ tape measure, Milwaukee: http://amzn.to/2txJfDN

• 8″ plastic speed square, Swanson: http://amzn.to/2urfvVn

• 7″ metal speed square, Swanson: http://amzn.to/2ts6JJI

• 12″ combination square, Stanley: http://amzn.to/2txzwxe

• 48″ drywall t-square, Empire: http://amzn.to/2txFNsL

• Torpedo level, Stanley: http://amzn.to/2u72AZd

• Angle finder: http://amzn.to/2nAPtyR

Safety:

• Respirator, 3M: http://amzn.to/2spd5da

• Respirator dust filter: http://amzn.to/2urvv9K

• Safety glasses, 3M: http://amzn.to/2txHtT7

• Hearing protection with Bluetooth: http://amzn.to/2spe8tW

• Fire extinguisher: http://amzn.to/2ururTy

• First aid kit: http://amzn.to/2urwR4B

Video Equipment and Electronics:

• DSLR camera and mic, Canon/Rode: http://amzn.to/2urN0qA

• Camera battery pack, Canon: http://amzn.to/2sudLcx

• Wireless mic, Rode: http://amzn.to/2vYjDkF

• Tripod, Manfrotto: http://amzn.to/2s9MHjB

• Backpack for laptop (modified for camera): http://amzn.to/2sppNsC

• Memory card, 64gb: http://amzn.to/2s9hPzC

• Memory card waterproof case: http://amzn.to/2suLliC

• Laptop, MacBook: http://amzn.to/2urnDFx

• Network Attached Storage, 6TB: http://amzn.to/2suvRLu

Other tools I use

Http://www.stoneandsons.net/tools

*Most of the links listed above are Amazon Affiliate links

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